The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we take a look at Portugal where The Black Mamba has “Love Is on My Side”. Did we feel the love? Read on to find out!
The Black Mamba – “Love Is on My Side”
“Love Is on My Side” reviews
Jonathan: There’s something really comforting about “Love Is on My Side”. When it comes on, I just let it play in the background and this warm feeling washes over me as The Black Mamba help remind me that there’s more love than darkness in my life. That being said, I don’t see it being a massive standout at Eurovision. There are still 29 entries from this year that I would actively choose to hit play on (and crucially vote for) before “Love Is on My Side”. But when it does come on in the semi-final, I will enjoy the three minutes.
Jordi: One can close one’s eyes and distinguish that it’s The Black Mamba who is playing. The first verses are addicting, injecting jazz and warmth from the very start. But as the song progresses, my attention is lost and it feels like navigating in a never-ending circle. There is an undeniable outstanding voice quality and blues feeling. But overall, the song’s formula lacks a more dynamic melody. It’s very repetitive and the chorus kills the song. Pedro’s voice is golden. But I won’t voluntarily play this song.
Josh: The song is a good consistent groove that maintains its mood all the way through, and the lyrics feel deeply personal. Lead singer Pedro has the x-factor — his unique voice and eccentric style are instantly eye- and ear-catching. I do worry that it may tend to get overlooked, due to its spot in the running order. It doesn’t quite give me an emotional reaction like some of these others, which is why I can’t score it as highly, but I think it also has the opportunity to do better than many think it will.
Pablo: For an entry that claims quite an origin story, “Love Is on My Side” is one of the blandest competitors of the year. Musically, it’s devoid of any grappling quality, be it an emotional tug at the heart or the capacity to replay. The lyrics do not project that depth, which leaves us with three minutes that feel like nothing’s going on, as we try to grasp something to salvage out of this. Portugal has a strong artistic identity, and it is a shame that the majority of the time they are not able to properly convey it with an interesting song.
Robyn: I’ve always thought Portugal shouldn’t be afraid to send an English language song to Eurovision — though this isn’t quite what I was expecting. But “Love Is on My Side” works. It’s a melancholic but also heartwarming song with a comfortingly old fashioned sound. Both the song and the group are slightly reminiscent of Austria’s ill-fated entry from The Makemakes, but as long as The Black Mamba don’t bring a burning fake piano to Rotterdam, they should do a lot better than nil points.
The Black Mamba – “Love Is on My Side” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 7.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 4.32/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!